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to the church, and it's a great expression of the character of joseph ratzinger. >> kathy, let me go to you on this. what was your first reaction when you heard about this today? were you surprised? there's a lot of rumors around new york, by the way, that cardinal egan had been working on this for awhile and it had been kept silent but not entirely. were you shocked at this? what was your first reaction? >> absolutely shocked. thought it was a farce. had to look it up five times to see it was real. it's sad. really sad. i love this pope. there's so much love for this pope. and even though he's still going to be with us, it's really like a mourning of him, i think. some of us are experiencing. but i like what you said about humility. when we look at john paul ii's end, many people came away with his public suffering and death as thinking he's teaching us how to die. and now look at this pope. he's teaching us how to be humble. i think it's a beautiful lesson from pope benedict. >> george, it's a complicated question. but in a word as briefly as you can, how do you see pope benedict's legacy
. >> joseph ratzinger, matt, in 2005, was one of only two cardinals who had participated in the papal elections. the two elections of 1978. he knows exactly what the purchas burden of responsibility is that these men are taking on themselves. he knows the conflicting emotions that many of them have. some of which greg and father baron have just described. i think he was saying to them, look, i know how you feel. and i am going to be with you in solidarity and in prayer over the next several weeks. of what is going to be a difficult test. >> at the same time, he has made clear, he does not want to exert undue influence on the process. this is not somebody who's behind the scenes twisting arms saying this should be the next pope? absolutely not, savannah. he is going to disappear. we're not going to see this man for months. he's too much a respecter of the process. he's too much of a respecter of his brother cardinals. and he's too, frankly, humble a human being to try to monkey in any way whatsoever with the selection of his successor. >> matt? >> yeah, i was curious, though, and fathe
. what has struck me in the 25 years i have known the man who will return to being joseph ratzinger, is the simplicity of his soul. this is a thoroughly convinced christian believer who happens to be one of the smartest people in the world who speaks six or seven languages with complete flewency, who knows the history of biblical religion from "a" to "z." who never wanted to be an executive, a manager, who always thought of himself primarily as a scholar. but who somehow could translate all of that learning into beautiful simplicities about god's love for the world and for god's people. >> and, george, even as we honor the service of this pope, we look forward to the election of a new pope. and tell us about this process. i mean, is this a sort of thing where, for lack of a better term, there are front-runners? >> there will be an enormous amount of ink spilled in the italian press over the next two weeks about front-runners. most of that would be silly. there are a number of cardinals who fit what would seem to me to be the profile. first of all, a man in full physical vigor. that
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